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The Key to Learning

Get Engaged to Grow

If you want to learn anything and grow personally, you have to engage with what you are doing. Education has never been about getting through a class. 

Don't worry, I'm not talking today about finding a person to marry — but if you want a series on marriage tips, let me know. This piece is a follow-up to my last blog post about PAYING ATTENTION!

Are You Scanning These Blog Posts?

I had lunch recently with a friend. He said he enjoyed my bi-monthly newsletter. I asked him what he learned from the last one on paying attention. He hesitated. I wasn't trying to put him on the spot. Because he is a good friend, he was honest with me. 

He said he only scanned it. We had a great discussion on why I write these (to help others learn and grow) and why he didn't take the time to read and understand the point. He didn't know anything about it because he didn't engage with the content. 

I appreciated this conversation very much. Why didn't he engage with the edition he was reading? Funny thing it was about "Paying Attention." (But it's not my job to figure out his why!)

There is a big difference between reading something and engaging with the content to understand what you are reading.

There is a big difference between meeting with someone and engaging with them when you are together.

There is a big difference between watching a movie or a show and falling asleep during it.

My Friend Fell Asleep While Talking to Me

Got your attention, didn’t I? But that’s really what happened!

I remember many years ago, I met with a friend in the morning. I had a big challenge and I needed some help. He fell asleep soon after I began to explain the issue. Was I that boring? I still remember this incident. Falling asleep is the direct opposite of engaging.

Get Engaged to Get Growing

If you want to learn anything and grow personally, you have to engage with what you are doing. Education has never been about getting through a class. 

It is about engaging with the content and the teacher. It has an end in mind. Knowing the subject and ultimately knowing it well enough to teach it. When a disciple is fully taught, they are like their teacher!

Today, people form quick opinions on topics they have not spent much time digesting. We tend to hear things, like what we hear, and jump on the bandwagon. 

Not much work is involved in this and not much wisdom is gained. And we reap the results. Do we want to trust the outcomes we get from trusting others without understanding what we are doing?

Do the Work to Learn If You Want the Results

We can also easily fall into the trap of wanting to be liked rather than engage and learn. Understanding takes work. Work takes caring about people and ideas. And it takes time and patience. I have even gone back to reread entire books because I liked them and wanted to understand more. 

Suspend judgment until you have had time to reflect and think through a situation. Talk to those you trust. 

Search for the good. Look for the positive. Ask why might this be true?

Hope this helps. It might even help you find a lifelong partner and then you’ll really want to get engaged ;)

Book Recommendation: The Beekeeper of Aleppo

My newest read: The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Heather Morris. Ballantine Books. This novel follows a family from war-torn Syria to a new home in England. A long and arduous journey full of adventure. The author was an aid worker in this real migration. A great read. A Literary Prize Winner.

View on Amazon

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Bob Lonac

About Bob Lonac

Today, friends call me a leader of leaders. But this wasn’t always the case.

During my life of working in faith-based, Christ-centered ministry, relationships have proved to be the common thread. My passion is helping other people grow through one-on-one mentoring and small group training. I love building teams. I love seeing people and organizations succeed. You can read more about my story and what I'm doing now.

I am still learning a lot and it would be fantastic to share this journey with you! If you haven’t yet, sign up for my email newsletter so we can stay connected.